Ketamine Therapy for Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be a debilitating condition that can affect all aspect of an individuals’ life. The prevalence of chronic pain is 11%-40%. Ketamine treatment for chronic pain can be especially successful if pain is caused by pain disorders such as CPRS and fibromyalgia.
What is Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be classified as moderate to severe pain that doesn’t go away after injury or trauma and is persistent for longer than 6 months after onset. The pain can be qualified as burning, aching, sharp and shooting, dull, constant or intermittent. The pain is usually not completely relieved by over the counter or opioid based medications.
Chronic pain can cause secondary depression as patients might be limited in the activities that they can perform including mobility and social interactions. The depression can then lead to loss of sleep and changes in appetite and suicidal ideation. Chronic pain can also lead to anxiety and stress that could lead to adrenal gland fatigue. These individuals may present with symptoms of fatigue, weight gain and general “brain fog”.
Traditional Treatments for Chronic Pain
Traditional treatment for chronic pain are opioids, nerve stimulators, NSAIDs, steroid injections and nerve blocks. None of these modalities help treat the cause of pain as they are mainly aimed at treating and masking the symptoms. Many of these other modalities have their own side effects which are unpleasant and can sometimes leave individuals unable to enjoy social interactions or physical activities.
How Ketamine Treats Chronic Pain
Ketamine infusions for chronic pain can be extremely effective if the pain is caused by inflammation of nerve cells. This type of pain is called neuropathic pain. Ketamine treats chronic neuropathic pain in several different ways:
Binding to the NMDA receptor and decreasing the amount of glutamate in the nervous system. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter that promotes pain signaling from one neuron to the next and when too much glutamate is circulating in your nervous system it sensitizes the neurons. This all translates to more pain and inflammation.
Binding to local anesthetic receptors ( ex: lidocaine)
Binding to the opioid receptors.
Research studies on the efficacy of ketamine in treating chronic pain are showing that about 80% of patient will have a 50% reduction in pain with ketamine treatment
Ketamine treatment for chronic pain is a well established treatment option that works. It helps treat the cause of pain vs. the symptoms of pain and thus can achieve a better outcome without being dependent on pills every day.
Why Choose Ketamine Therapy for Chronic Pain
Ketamine treatment for chronic pain gets at the root cause of the chronic pain by decreasing inflammation and resetting the pain signals and neurocircuitry.
Ketamine treatment for chronic pain can help patients decrease their reliance on opiate medications and increase their recreational activities.
Ketamine treatment for chronic pain can allow patients to become more independent and increase their overall quality of life.